Friday, June 06, 2008

Bringing a darkness to light

There is a long, self-pitying post that has been rattling around in my head for weeks now. I suspect it has been a significant part of the writer's block I've been suffering for several weeks now.

Today was one of those days when several things came together in such a way as to tell me it is time to write this. I had a plan of how I would present this, all the background and context I would give. But the more intricate a plan I create in my head, the further away the heart of the matter recedes. So I'm just going to dive in. I don't know exactly where I'm going with this and am not sure how long it will take to get there, so feel free to move on to the next post in your queue.

It is supposed to be some sort of comfort, apparently, to tell a woman who has miscarried that there was probably a chromosomal abnormality in the fetus. Therefore, it was for the best. Which, for me personally, felt like the science version of "It's all part of God's plan."

I also, as much as I might have wanted to believe the above, never fully believed it. Again I feel the need to emphasize that I approach most aspects of my life through logic and science. But I do reserve a special place for dreams, particularly during pregnancy. Not as a form of prophecy, but more as an opportunity to get in touch with my subconscious and body and to figure out what exactly is going on in there. And so it meant something to me when I had a dream in which I held my little girl. I believed so much more strongly in that little girl than a potential chromosomal abnormality.

The second miscarriage happened so quickly that I had not quite settled into the idea of being pregnant. But that very fact, the decreasing amount of time my body could hold onto the baby, just convinced me that there was something outside of the random, inexplicable chance event my medical providers tried to assure me was the cause.

It was a moment of confirmation, therefore, when I began to unravel some of what might have happened. I was elated to know that my suspicions were probably correct and that there was someone who was not going to make me go through the process again without any additional support.

But there's a dark side to this new knowledge. And this is what has been eating at me.

There was nothing wrong with my little girl. Or the second baby I never got to know. Either one would have been a beautiful, healthy baby. With me now.

It was not the babies' chromosomes that failed. It was my body. More specifically, my body attacked my babies, treated them as cancerous growths, worked to flush them out as quickly as possible.

My body killed my little girl.

And this is the origin of my recent discontent with my body, the sense that the physical me and the mental me are not in harmony. Because if I had not created that separation, I would have to replace "my body" with "I."

I can write all of this now, because I have started to heal that rift. I recently increased the frequency, length, and intensity of my workouts, spending more time simply existing in my body.

I'm headed to a fertility clinic soon and hope to be trying again in another 6 weeks. Even though I have been displeased with how many times my start date has been pushed back, I am starting to think that this may be a good thing for my mental state; perhaps I will be more at peace with my body by the time I ask it to undertake this task again.

I do not regret the knowledge I have collected in the past few months, even with the twist of pain it has brought. I also recognize the shimmer of stress that attends all my considerations of future pregnancy, restraining my excitement, not allowing me to think beyond the step immediately ahead of me. It constantly whispers, "But what if there's a third time? How will you recover?" And the truth is, I might not; I fear that a third miscarriage would break me.

I am not, perhaps, quite as pessimistic as this might all sound. There is enough hope that I will press on. But it is always with a glance backward, aware of the weight I am bearing.


Team Serrins Springfield said...

Thanks for sharing this post. It is quite beautiful and overwhelmingly sad but at the same time optimistic. I attended a conference once and heard a paper which had been sponsored by the "Funeral Directors of America" or something like that. They wanted to know what people can/do say after the death of a loved one and what helps. They interviewed over 10,000 who had lost an immediate relative and found that across age, gender, religious belief system, it was all the same. The only thing that could possibly help was a simple "I'm sorry for your loss." I suspect that those who say that it was G-d's plan or the time wasn't right and things like that, don't know what to say. They think they are saying something that can help and don't understand that they are not.

I am sorry for your loss and grateful for your insight. Blessings.

cinnamon gurl said...

I'm not sure what to say, but I feel I must say something. I don't know anyone for whom the "it just wasn't meant to be" sentiment made them feel less sad.

I hope everything goes smoothly.

Tracey said...

I'm so sorry for the pain you've had to go through... I hope that your future holds only bright and beautiful things, and that your pain (though it will never go away) will be less...

Aliki2006 said...

Oh Mouse, I'm glad you wrote the post and purged yourself, a little, of what's been weighing on you. I'll be thinking of you very, very hard.

Lisa b said...

I am glad to read you are working through this. I think knowing you are not responsible and feeling it can be separate things.
I hope you can get to a place where you can feel you did all you could. I hope you find peace to move forward towards your dreams.
After being right about so many things with Julia, I believe so much more in intuition than I ever have. I also experienced such deep fear, thinking the worst and believing I would never recover. The other thing I have learned this year is that women do survive terrible losses that none of us would think we could bear. No matter what, you will survive.

kgirl said...

Oh god, thinking that your body killed your baby - science can't possibly be offering any comfort there.

Things don't always happen for a reason, they're not always meant to be, and it's not always better in the end.
But I hope, hope, hope that your next few weeks go well. You guys deserve it.

Mad said...

I read this late last week and just could not comment. I wonder, you know. I wonder if my babies failed b/c of how they were formed or if my thyroid killed them. I'm glad in a way that I will never be able to find out but I am also frustrated and angry: that I live in a place where quality healthcare is sparse and that I am of an age where no one can be bothered to care about the future of my fertility. I know it's all over but that doesn't change the fact that I want professionals to at least be curious as to how the end came about.

All of this that we carry around with us, Mouse, it threatens to swallow us alive, doesn't it? It's hard to find a path that is mindful and not self-pitying. Very hard, indeed.

I wish you all the luck in the world with your next round of trying.